Gluten-free No-bake Cookies

These gluten-free no-bake cookies only take a few minutes to put together and are naturally vegan and dairy-free. They have a perfectly chewy texture, that’s almost caramel-like and even better than other no-bake cookie recipes I’ve tried!

I first posted this recipe 6 years ago, and I still regularly make them when I need a quick and easy treat. Everybody always asks for the recipe!

I don’t know why people call these no-bake cookies. They’re more candy-like or granola bar-ish to me. There’s lots of peanut butter (or almond butter) and maple goodness, though, so they definitely are dessert!

If you’re after granola bars, by the way, I’ve got these amazing gluten-free granola bars, which are also vegan and maple-sweetened.

Ingredients

Nothing fancy here. Just normal stuff you almost definitely already have in your pantry!

  • Coconut oil or butter – those are the only two types of fat that I’ve used and can recommend.

  • Peanut butter or almond butter – if you want to use something else, read the section below!

  • Vanilla extract – if you’re allergic to it and have to omit it, use the same amount of water.

  • Oats – rolled or quick oats also work but instant oats and steel cut oat do not work.

  • Mini chocolate chips, optional – I usually omit them because these cookies are really so delicious on their own, but chocolate + peanut butter is never a bad thing!

What type of fat to use

To keep them vegan and dairy-free, I used coconut oil, but you can also use unsalted butter. I’m assuming vegan butter would also work!

You can use refined coconut oil or unrefined coconut oil in these cookies. If you use unrefined, it adds a slight coconut taste, which is actually pretty nice and doesn’t take anything away from the peanut butter flavor.

If you don’t want to use peanut butter, check out my other versions of these no-bake cookies, which are all also gluten-free and vegan. And if you would like to make peanut butter, but you just don’t have any on hand, here’s How to Make Peanut Butter:

I want to use X type of nut/seed butter!

You can certainly experiment, but the trick is boiling the mixture enough so that it thickens properly, allowing the cookies to hold up properly. If you don’t boil long enough, the mixture won’t become caramel-like and will just be a liquidy mess.

I’ve had this happen several times with sunflower seed butter. If you boil it a bit longer, it thickens up properly like the almond butter and peanut butter versions.

Key to success

These gluten-free no-bake cookies are super easy, but you have to follow the directions. If you make subs, they might not work.

If you don’t follow the instructions and just try to put them together without boiling for two minutes first… that won’t work, either. You’ll have a runny mess on your hands once you add the oats.

You must boil the mixture for 2 minutes or until it’s glossy, like you see above, and looks like caramel. Depending on your nut/seed butter, it may take a little more or less time.

If you halve the recipe, you’ll need less time (about 1 minute and 20 seconds). If you double it, you’ll need more time.

But don’t boil too long! If you do that, the mixture will separate. I’ve had that happen a few times when I got distracted and forgot a timer or left the stove (which you really shouldn’t do – you need to stir constantly!).

In that case, I just stir very vigorously for a minute or two until it comes back together. But it’s a pain. Definitely set a timer. :)

Aren’t no-bake cookies already gluten-free?

As long as you use gluten-free oats, then yes, they usually are! Read this article if you’re interested more -> Are Oats Gluten-free?

However, I needed a title for the post. To be honest, if I had just called them “no-bake peanut butter cookies,” nobody would have ever found this recipe while googling, because there’s no way I would find my way to the front of 36,000,000 search results (that’s the actual number!).

Other questions about these cookies?

  • If using coconut oil, can you taste the coconut?

    If you use unrefined coconut oil, it adds a little coconut taste, which is actually pretty nice and doesn’t take anything away from the peanut butter flavor. If you don’t want any coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil.

  • Can I use something other than coconut oil and butter? Those are the only two I’ve tried. I don’t think using canola or other liquid-at-room-temp oils would work.

  • Can I use a different type of nut/seed butter? Other than peanut butter and almond butter, all I’ve tried is sunflower seed butter. I find that the mixture is too runny with sunflower seed butter but if you boil it a bit longer, it thickens up like the peanut butter and almond butter versions.
    Whatever you use should be natural nut/seed butter, meaning no added fat or sugar. It doesn’t work the same as the natural kind.

  • What can I use instead of maple syrup? I’d love to say that you can use any liquid sweetener, but I haven’t had a good experience with honey in my no-bake cookies. I don’t use agave syrup but that might work.

    I’ve tried these several times with honey and the texture comes out totally different, and not in a good way. The cookies also taste overwhelmingly of honey.
  • Can I use something other than oats? I haven’t found a good sub for them in no-bake recipes like this. Some people have said quinoa flakes, but I personally can’t stand the taste. I’m also not sure how chewy they would be in a no-bake recipe since they’re not cooked at all.
    I’ve tried to make these paleo by using shredded coconut but the final result was extremely greasy. I do not recommend that!

That’s it! I hope you’ll enjoy the cookies. If you make them or any of my recipes, I’d love to see 📸 pictures of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Please hashtag them #texanerin so I can find them.

Gluten-free No-bake Cookies (vegan, dairy-free)

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Rated 4.9 by 7 readers
Gluten-free No-bake Cookies
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 10 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (49 grams) coconut oil1 or unsalted butter for a non-vegan version
  • 1/2 cup (128 grams) salted natural peanut butter (the kind with just nuts and salt) or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup - I do not recommend honey2
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt if your peanut/almond butter is unsalted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (138 grams) rolled oats (make sure to use gluten-free oats)
  • about 1/4 cup (43 grams) mini chocolate chips (use dairy-free / vegan chocolate chips, if necessary)

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, melt the coconut oil over low heat.
  2. Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt, if using, and stir until well combined.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium, and while stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should become glossy and caramel-like. Don't boil it longer or it may separate.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and oats until well combined.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out balls of the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper.
  7. Let the cookies cool until almost room temperature. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and roll the tops of the cookies in the chocolate chips. You can also stir the chocolate chips into the almost cooled mixture if you don't mind them melting and partially combining with the peanut butter mixture.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They can also be refrigerated for up to about a week. For firmer cookies, refrigerate them.

Notes

  1. I've made these with refined and unrefined coconut oil and they taste almost the same, with the unrefined version having just a slight coconut taste.
  2. I've tried these several times with honey and the texture comes out totally different, and not in a good way. The cookies also taste overwhelmingly of honey.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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70 comments on “Gluten-free No-bake Cookies” — Add one!

  • Korina says
    March 2, 2019 @ 7:25 pm

    I’ve been making these for years now and they’re always a hit with my friends and family! They’re always requesting it so I wanted to say Thank You for such an amazing and simple recipe!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Korina
      March 9, 2019 @ 7:31 pm

      You’re welcome! And I’m really glad to hear that. They’re a favorite of ours, too. :) Thanks a bunch for your feedback and sorry for my slow reply!

      Reply
  • Shayla
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    February 17, 2019 @ 10:12 pm

    My toddler and I love these! And we even make it without the chocolate chips. Thanks for a simple and great recipe.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Shayla
      February 23, 2019 @ 8:03 pm

      You’re welcome for the recipe. :) I’m really glad that you and your kid love them! Thanks a bunch for your comment and sorry for my super slow reply!

      Reply
  • Vanessa says
    May 23, 2018 @ 11:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing! It looks like a great blend of natural ingredients!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Vanessa
      May 28, 2018 @ 6:05 pm

      Thanks! Hope you’ll get to try them out. :)

      Reply
  • Suzanne says
    May 23, 2018 @ 10:59 pm

    These looks delicious! I can’t wait to try them. They have good shelf life too!

    Reply
  • Olivia arrendell says
    April 7, 2018 @ 8:58 pm

    Made these with raw almond butter & they’re delish! A lot more “runny” and I even added oats :/ but other than that they’re still so great!!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Olivia arrendell
      April 10, 2018 @ 10:47 am

      Maybe trying boiling the mixture a little longer next time? I’m happy that they were still yummy! :)

      Reply
  • Debra Pearson says
    November 17, 2017 @ 5:41 pm

    I love peanut butter any way I can get it… these are definitely going on my list! I was just wondering if you’ve ever tried with speculoos? (That cookie butter)… I could eat that with a spoon (and have!) I think the brand name is Biscotti…? Anyway, thank you for a great recipe which I intend to make heavy use of! Might even throw in some flax seeds and coconut for texture and so forth… btw, the speculoos comes in crunchy also… 😏

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Debra Pearson
      November 20, 2017 @ 6:55 pm

      Oh, yum. That sounds delicious but I’ve never tried it with Biscoff! Biscoff has added fat and sugar so I don’t think it’d have the same texture (this recipe specifically calls for natural peanut butter without added fat or sugar), but some commenters have used regular peanut butter (with added fat and sugar) and they enjoyed them… so maybe it’d work. But I can’t guarantee it! I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it. :)

      Reply
  • Elaine Pacholek
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    June 12, 2017 @ 1:03 am

    Yikes, just how expensive is maple syrup in the rest of the country? Here in Vermont I pay under $30 for a half gallon, worth every penny.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Elaine Pacholek
      June 13, 2017 @ 6:39 pm

      I live in Germany and buy it on sale for 3 euro / cup. It’s normally double the price!

      Reply
  • Carri says
    May 31, 2017 @ 3:06 am

    I made a batch just now but added hemp hearts, raw cacao, and crushed chia/flax seed mix. Also made a healthy chocolate ganache with raw cacao and coconut oil for the tops(i made them into bars instead)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Carri
      June 2, 2017 @ 11:14 am

      Yum! Love your changes and that you made them into bars. Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  • Sheri says
    July 21, 2016 @ 5:19 am

    Hi. This recipe looks great! The actual reason I was looking for a no-bake cookie recipe was not for me, but for my horse. He’s having joint issues and his vet wants him to be given turmeric every day. I was concerned that baking a cookie would cause the turmeric to lose it’s anti-inflammatory properties. I’m currently administering his turmeric (along with a pain med) in homemade carrot juice (orally with a big syringe). I need a way to mask the bad taste of the turmeric in a way that he will willingly eat, and a method that would be easy for the woman who boards him for me to be able to give to him. I was just curious, how firm are these cookies? Of course I’ll have to omit the chocolate chips, but maybe I’ll add some diced apples instead. Thanks for the recipe!!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Sheri
      July 21, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

      Hi! If you keep them refrigerated, they’re quite firm, but not difficult to eat at all. They’re softer if kept at room temperature. I’d recommend that the woman keep the cookies indoors rather than outdoors because I think they’d get melty out there. I’m not sure about adding fresh apple, though – I’d be worried that the added moisture would make the cookies fall apart or messy. I hope you and your horse will enjoy the cookies. :)

      Reply
    • Carri replies to Sheri
      May 31, 2017 @ 3:01 am

      To get the best benefits from the tumeric make sure you add cracked pepper!

      Reply
  • Jayne says
    July 19, 2016 @ 1:56 pm

    They sound delicious & I am going to give them a go tomorrow, but they can’t be cookies if they aren’t baked. Not sure what they are instead, ut cookies have to be cooked, by definition :)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jayne
      July 19, 2016 @ 5:46 pm

      I hope you’ll enjoy them! :)

      Reply
    • Kathy replies to Jayne
      December 17, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

      These cookies ARE cooked–just on the stove-top instead of in the oven!

      Reply
  • Leslie says
    July 6, 2016 @ 11:48 pm

    It’s showing it’s deliciousness! I need these. I love peanut butter in my cookies but I don’t like it with my ice cream, is that odd?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Leslie
      July 7, 2016 @ 7:39 pm

      Haha. Nothing wrong with that! It is kind of a weird combination. ;) Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Joan says
    June 5, 2016 @ 7:54 pm

    Just made a batch. Hope we like them as much as everyone else! I used sugar free maple syrup since my son is diabetic.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Joan
      June 5, 2016 @ 9:29 pm

      I hope you and your son will enjoy them, too! :)

      Reply
  • Bunny says
    May 3, 2016 @ 2:40 am

    Hi Erin,

    I’m new here. The photos made me drool! What do you think about substituting Agave for the M.S. My finances will screech if they hear of that much M.S.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Bunny
      May 3, 2016 @ 9:33 pm

      Hi Bunny! Welcome to the blog. :) I haven’t tried this with agave but I think it’d work. I can’t guarantee it, though, since I haven’t tried it. If you decide to try it out, I hope you’ll enjoy the cookies!

      Reply
    • Kathy replies to Bunny
      November 3, 2016 @ 6:57 pm

      I have a substitution guide for Agave and it says it can be substituted in equal amounts for maple syrup. I’m going to try it and will repost the results.

      Reply
      • Erin replies to Kathy
        November 4, 2016 @ 1:03 pm

        I hope it’ll work! :) But I’m not all that optimistic because this recipe is similar to candy making where subs aren’t so easy.

        Reply
  • Sarah
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    April 11, 2016 @ 1:11 am

    Loved these! I was a little low on maple syrup so i made mine with a mix of maple sugar and white sugar and they were still fantastic. So much better than the traditional no bake cookie. Thank you!! :)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Sarah
      April 11, 2016 @ 3:11 pm

      I bet these are even better with maple sugar! Yum. I’m so happy that you enjoyed them! Thanks for sharing your sub and your feedback. :)

      Reply
  • Lezley says
    April 5, 2016 @ 12:27 am

    What are your thoughts on using cashew butter in place of the peanut butter? And if so, how much?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lezley
      April 5, 2016 @ 5:14 pm

      So far I’ve tried peanut butter, pecan butter and almond butter and they all work so I’m guessing cashew butter would (though I’m not positive). All nut butters have a different fat content so I guess it’s possible it may not work, but I’m hopeful here. :)

      Reply
  • kim
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    says
    April 4, 2016 @ 1:01 am

    I’m happily surprised with these cookies and so is my husband. I have kept them in the fridge and they are a perfect sweet treat!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to kim
      April 4, 2016 @ 12:02 pm

      I’m happy you both enjoyed them! They’re a favorite of mine. :) Thanks for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Melody Lassalle
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    August 3, 2015 @ 3:28 am

    I have dietary issues, so I was pleased to see these cookies have very few ingredients and all are recognizable. They look so delicious. I’ve saved the recipe and hope to have the chance to try it soon. I think I’ll be one happy chocoholic!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Melody Lassalle
      August 3, 2015 @ 8:21 pm

      I also like that they don’t have too many ingredients. I’m not one for fussy recipes. ;) I hope that you’ll enjoy the cookies and thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Damita Jo
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    July 29, 2015 @ 10:05 pm

    These are a family favorite made them 4x since you posted. Just want to say your pictures are beautiful. Everything looks absolutely delicious. I have twenty of your recipes that I can’t wait to try. These are the must make immediately.
    Thanks for sharing your blog is awesome :)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Damita Jo
      July 30, 2015 @ 6:20 pm

      What a nice comment! Thanks so much, Damita. :) I’m so happy that your family enjoys the cookies and I hope that you’ll enjoy the other recipes just as much! Thanks again for your comment. It made my day. :)

      Reply
  • Lynn says
    June 9, 2015 @ 4:39 am

    How do you think these would work with sugar free maple syrup?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lynn
      June 10, 2015 @ 10:44 am

      If it has the same consistency, it should be fine! I hope you’ll enjoy them. :)

      Reply
  • Melanie says
    June 5, 2015 @ 2:17 am

    Love the idea of this! Perfect for the summer months when you don’t want to turn the oven on!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Melanie
      June 10, 2015 @ 8:49 pm

      Exactly! Sometimes turning on the oven just won’t work.

      Reply
  • Colleen (Souffle Bombay) says
    June 4, 2015 @ 7:23 pm

    A great no bake is always a good thing in my book!

    Reply
  • Cookin Canuck says
    June 4, 2015 @ 4:55 pm

    It looks as though you got these just right, Erin! Even though maple syrup is expensive, the flavor is just too good to resist.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Cookin Canuck
      June 10, 2015 @ 8:50 pm

      Totally agree! It’s so worth it for a recipe like this.

      Reply
  • Amanda @ The Kitcheneer says
    June 3, 2015 @ 11:18 pm

    I am LOVING this recipe! I am drooling over these cookies!

    Reply
  • Kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox says
    June 3, 2015 @ 10:37 pm

    Great photos!!! I love the no bake part of this recipe….just in time for the scorching summer. :-)

    Reply
  • Susan says
    June 3, 2015 @ 12:52 am

    We had a few days of hot weather and then it got cold again. Back to the 50s and 60’s, I’d be fine with it but it’s raining. A few of these cookies would cheer me up!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Susan
      June 10, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

      I like coolish weather but rain in the summer? Booo!

      Reply
  • Martha @ A Family Feast says
    June 2, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

    I can’t help staring at your photos Erin! These look absolutely delicious!

    Reply
  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen says
    June 2, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

    These look so soft and chewy. I can almost taste them just by looking at your photos!

    Reply
  • Kelly says
    June 2, 2015 @ 4:14 am

    Yes, these are awesome tasting. I don’t think I will ever again make the traditional no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies when these are awesome without all the dairy and sugar. My only sub was using maple flavored brown rice syrup and I did not use a full 1/2 cup and they were plenty sweet. Kind of like these are your coconut oat peanut butter chocolate bars from your cookbook/website…those are the BOMB!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kelly
      June 2, 2015 @ 11:36 am

      Yay! I’m so happy that you enjoyed them! I also love how quick you were to make them. :) It’s good to know that brown rice syrup works in these. Thanks for letting me know and for your great feedback (as always!)

      Reply
  • Kelly says
    June 2, 2015 @ 12:01 am

    These look absolutely fantastic. About to make this right now.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kelly
      June 2, 2015 @ 11:39 am

      I love it when people say that… and then actually do make them and come back and leave feedback! Thanks again. :)

      Reply
  • Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom says
    June 1, 2015 @ 11:39 pm

    In order to take melted chocolate chips they need to be right out of the oven so I don’t think they look greasy at all, just slightly wet. No bake recipes are always a challenge but I think you did fantastic!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom
      June 2, 2015 @ 5:50 pm

      Thanks, Brenda! For some reason, I thought no-bake recipes were supposed to be the easiest. Nope. Totally wrong with this one, at least!

      Reply
  • foodwanderings says
    June 1, 2015 @ 10:41 pm

    Lucky you with the moderate temperatures. I like it that you’ve got oats in these cookies. I adore anything oats!

    Reply
  • Michelle says
    June 1, 2015 @ 9:59 pm

    What if I wanted to use honey rather than maple syrup? Would it be the same amount?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Michelle
      June 1, 2015 @ 10:09 pm

      I can’t really recommend that. I’ve tried these with honey and had issues. If you want to try anyway, I’d use the same amount because they need the same amount of liquid, but then I’m afraid they’d come out too sweet. I think maple syrup is definitely the way to go. :)

      Reply
  • Alexa [fooduzzi.com] says
    June 1, 2015 @ 3:07 pm

    I am OBSESSED with this recipe. No bake cookies are my childhood favorite, and I think that you nailed this healthier recipe! I have a chocolate version on my site, but I’ve always been partial to their peanut butter counterparts! I will definitely give these a try!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Alexa [fooduzzi.com]
      June 1, 2015 @ 10:10 pm

      Thanks, Alexa! And ooh… I’ll have to check our your chocolate version. Or try a chocolate version of this recipe!

      Reply

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